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Grandfather Clocks

Grandfather clocks evolved with the development of the pendulum clock in the 17th century. Innovative clockmakers lengthened pendulums in order to create a more reliable timekeeping device, and a case was needed to protect the pendulum and weights for domestic clocks. This inconvenience was solved by creating the longcase style of clock, more commonly known as the grandfather clock.

By the mid-18th century, American clockmakers began making tall-case clocks by hand. Due to the heavy tax on brass and other clockmaking materials shipped from abroad, the colonial grandfather clock was made mostly of wood, including its movements.

Originally producing chiming wall and mantel clocks, Howard Miller began manufacturing grandfather clocks in the '60s including the colonial-style Barwick grandfather clock. Tempus Fugit grandfather clocks are often assumed to be a brand name, but many clockmakers and watchmakers through history have inscribed the Latin phrase that translates to "time flies" on the dial of a clock. Though often applied to Ridgeway or Howard Miller clocks, the term can apply to any clock bearing the words. Modern grandfather clocks from Tiffany and Swedish Mora Gustavian spice up design collections with their contemporary edginess.


Quick Facts

  • A mid-18th century Northern European marquetry and walnut longcase clock sold for $9,999 at Bonhams in 2004
  • A William III walnut striking longcase made by Thomas Tompion around 1699 realized a price of $181,519 at an auction by Christie’s London in 2012
  • A Philadelphia Chippendale carved walnut tall-case clock with a dial signed by Edward Duffield and a case attributed to Nicholas Bernard and Martin Jugiez realized a price of $386,500 at a Christie’s New York auction in 2010

Recommended Items at Auction

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Charles R Sligh Grandfather Tall Case Clock 92"H
Oct 02, 1:00 PM EDT
Charles R Sligh Grandfather Tall Case Clock 92"H
by Four Seasons Auction Gallery
Est: $1,200- $1,600
$6006 Bids
DUTCH CYLINDER MUSICAL WORKS LONGCASE CLOCK
Oct 16, 10:00 AM CDT
DUTCH CYLINDER MUSICAL WORKS LONGCASE CLOCK
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $1,500- $3,500
$1,1004 Bids
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1930'S OAK LONG CASE CLOCK, WITH PENDULUM
Sep 29, 9:00 AM AEST
1930'S OAK LONG CASE CLOCK, WITH PENDULUM
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD100- AUD300
AUD1602 Bids
Howard Miller Tall Case Grandfather Clock
Oct 01, 10:00 AM MST
Howard Miller Tall Case Grandfather Clock
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$152 Bids
A George III grandfather clock circa 1800
Sep 29, 5:00 PM CEST
A George III grandfather clock circa 1800
by Duran Arte y Subastas
Est: €0- €0
€8000 Bids
Incomplete Antique French Grandfather Clock
Oct 01, 1:00 PM CEST
Incomplete Antique French Grandfather Clock
by Dutch Auction Company
Est: €100- €500
€700 Bids
Electric Grandfather Clock Philco Model 70 with AM-Radio
Oct 01, 1:00 PM CEST
Electric Grandfather Clock Philco Model 70 with AM-Radio
by Dutch Auction Company
Est: €1,000- €2,500
€7000 Bids
George III style tall case clock, 20th century
Sep 27, 5:00 PM CEST
George III style tall case clock, 20th century
by Ansorena
Est: €2,250- €3,000
€1,5000 Bids
Lorenz Furtwängler
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CEST
Lorenz Furtwängler
by Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen
Est: €240- €360
€2400 Bids
Rosewood Westminster grandfather clock
Oct 07, 10:00 AM CEST
Rosewood Westminster grandfather clock
by Twents Veilinghuis
Est: €0- €0
€3000 Bids
18th century English grandfather clock, H 187 cm.
Oct 07, 10:00 AM CEST
18th century English grandfather clock, H 187 cm.
by Twents Veilinghuis
Est: €0- €0
€2000 Bids
BARWICK TALL CASE GRANDFATHERS CLOCK. MOON PHASE DIAL. HOWARD MILLER CLOCK COMPANY.
Sep 27, 10:00 AM EDT
BARWICK TALL CASE GRANDFATHERS CLOCK. MOON PHASE DIAL. HOWARD MILLER CLOCK COMPANY.
by Uniques & Antiques
Est: $200- $300
$1500 Bids
Electric Grandfather Clock Crosley Model 124 with AM-Radio
Oct 01, 1:00 PM CEST
Electric Grandfather Clock Crosley Model 124 with AM-Radio
by Dutch Auction Company
Est: €1,000- €2,500
€7000 Bids
18th century English grandfather clock with chinoiserie, H 220 cm.
Oct 07, 10:00 AM CEST
18th century English grandfather clock with chinoiserie, H 220 cm.
by Twents Veilinghuis
Est: €0- €0
€5000 Bids
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C. Porthouse Mahogany Grandfather Clock.
Oct 02, 10:00 AM EDT
C. Porthouse Mahogany Grandfather Clock.
by Clarke Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
Colonial Henry Ford Museum Inlaid Tall Case Clock
Oct 01, 10:00 AM EDT
Colonial Henry Ford Museum Inlaid Tall Case Clock
by Alex Cooper
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
Daneker - The Senator Grandmother Clock
Oct 08, 10:00 AM EDT
Daneker - The Senator Grandmother Clock
by Regency Auction House
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
AN OAK AND MAHOGANY CROSSBANDED LONGCASE CLOCK
Oct 03, 10:30 AM BST
AN OAK AND MAHOGANY CROSSBANDED LONGCASE CLOCK
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £300- £500
£100 Bids
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Montana Hand Carved Bear Grandfather Clock 20th C
Oct 22, 9:00 AM MDT
Montana Hand Carved Bear Grandfather Clock 20th C
by North American Auction Company
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$2500 Bids
PAINTED CASE CHIMING GRANDMOTHER CLOCK
Oct 14, 10:00 AM CDT
PAINTED CASE CHIMING GRANDMOTHER CLOCK
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $200- $400
$1500 Bids
German longcase clock + polyphon music
Oct 07, 10:00 AM CEST
German longcase clock + polyphon music
by Twents Veilinghuis
Est: €0- €0
€3,0000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Grandfather Clocks


Twents Veilinghuis

Twents Veilinghuis

Austin Auction Gallery

Austin Auction Gallery

Dutch Auction Company

Dutch Auction Company

Clarke Auction Gallery

Clarke Auction Gallery